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Sunday, 28 December 2003

CHILDREN’S PHOTOS? ONLY KIDDING

BBC reports that, after staff placed the spy camera inside an office clock in an attempt to stop a series of weekend thefts, the head teacher of Walton High School, Stafford, has written to parents to reassure them that children were not being filmed. Under local authority guidelines, schools are not allowed covert filming without permission. Although the camera, discovered by contractors working at the school, was focused upon the office, there were concerns that an adjacent classroom was in view. Staffordshire County Council's Department for Education and Lifelong Learning said that permission for the camera had not been obtained from the head teacher, but that no pupils had been recorded. Said a nameless functionary of the Department: "We are satisfied that the staff involved were not aware of this and that their actions were well-intentioned but misguided. They have been told that there must be no repetition. No formal disciplinary action has been taken".

The popular British pastime of covert filming has recently been savaged by the European Court of Human Rights in Perry v United Kingdom as an infraction of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (now part of the UK’s complex web of privacy laws which makes up for a single right of privacy). Is it not ironic, muses the IPKat, that the person who gets into trouble isn’t the people responsible for the thefts but the man who is trying to do something to detect the wrongdoers.

Smile, you’re on Candid Camera
Candid Camera for criminals
How to shoot children here
Spy cameras here

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